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Bryant falls to St. Francis but qualifies for NEC tournament

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. – Junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored a game-high 31 points, but the Bryant University men's basketball team was held off by St. Francis Brooklyn, 74-66, Thursday night.

Grant's 31 points were one shy of his career-high. Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) added 11 points and matched his career-best with four blocks. Despite the defeat, Bryant earned a berth in the Northeast Conference Tournament, which will begin Wednesday with a road quarterfinal.

GAME INFORMATION
St. Francis Brooklyn 74, Bryant 66
Records: Bryant (10-18, 7-10 NEC), St. Francis Brooklyn (17-13, 9-8 NEC)
Location: Pope Physical Education Center (Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.)

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Bulldogs were held off the board for a span of 7:23 in the first half as the Terriers erased a six-point deficit. Bryant would briefly take back the lead with a minute remaining in the half before St. Francis took a one-point advantage into halftime and led the rest of the way.
  • Bryant pulled within one with 1:09 to play on a Grant three-pointer, but St. Francis scored the next seven to close out the victory.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • St. Francis opened the game on a 10-2 run before nine straight from the Bulldogs – four from junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) and five from Grant – gave Bryant an 11-10 advantage with 14:37 to play in the first half.
  • Bryant would open up a 24-18 lead on a pair of Cardenas free throws with 7:24 remaining in the first half, but St. Francis responded with the next eight to go ahead 26-24 with 1:30 on the clock.
  • A three-pointer from senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.) gave the lead back to the Bulldogs with a minute to play in the half, but the Terriers responded to take a 28-27 lead into the locker room.
  • St. Francis pushed its lead to eight at 41-33 with 12:58 to go before baskets from Grant and Townes cut into the deficit.
  • The Terriers went up 10 with 8:30 to play before the Bulldogs started chipping away. Grant hit a three with 1:09 to play to bring Bryant within one at 65-64, but St. Francis answered with a three at the other end to begin a 7-0 run that sealed the Terrier victory.

STATS

  • Grant was 13-of-18 from the field and 4-of-7 from three while adding four rebounds, two steals and an assist.
  • Cardenas scored in double digits for the seventh time in eight February contests and rose to 46 blocks on the season.
  • Bryant shot 45.5 percent, while St. Francis was at 47.6 percent.
  • The Terriers outrebounded the Bulldogs, 39-30.

GAME NOTES

  • Bryant drops to 7-12 all-time against St. Francis Brooklyn and 0-9 in road matchups.
  • The home team is now 16-3 in the all-time series.
  • Bryant qualifies for the NEC tournament for the first time since 2017 and fifth time in seven years of Division I postseason eligibility.
  • Cardenas' 46 blocks on the year stand eight shy of Bryant's Division I single-season program record of 54 set by Papa Lo in 2009-10.

UP NEXT
Bryant closes the regular season Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at LIU Brooklyn. The game can be seen on NEC Front Row.

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